Generations of Princetonians have studied with some of the world’s most distinguished teacher-scholars -- men and women who have helped to define their disciplines, broken new ground in research, and shared their wisdom in clear and compelling ways. Princeton’s students are inspired by faculty members who are making discoveries and creating knowledge, not simply transmitting it.
Princeton’s faculty includes Nobel laureates, MacArthur Fellows, Pulitzer Prize winners, and other nationally and internationally recognized scholars, all of whom teach undergraduates in addition to pursuing their own scholarly interests. Maintaining a faculty of this extraordinary quality requires effort. For more than 150 years, Princeton's success in attracting and retaining faculty members of the highest caliber has been aided substantially by its ability to award endowed chairs to professors who advance the frontiers of knowledge.
The first endowed chair was established at Princeton in 1857; since then, more than 200 professorships have been created by the University's alumni, parents, and friends. These named professorships acknowledge the contributions made by distinguished educators -- on campus, and to the world. They stand as tributes to academic excellence and the generosity of the Princeton family.
Many of Princeton’s leaders occupy endowed chairs, including Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, who is the Lawrence and Shirley Katzman and Lewis and Anna Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education; David Botstein, director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics who is the Anthony B. Evnin ’62 Professor of Genomics; Emily Carter, director of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment who is the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment; and Jonathan Cohen, co-director of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute who is the Robert Bendheim and Lynn Bendheim Thoman Professor in Neuroscience.
Princeton University has a long history of helping today's promising scholars become the distinguished faculty leaders of tomorrow.
Endowed preceptorships support early-career faculty members of outstanding ability, providing both financial support and opportunities to hone their research and teaching skills. These coveted awards provide a salary, a research fund, and a leave of absence to enable a promising junior faculty member to concentrate on research or writing.
Endowed preceptorships have helped to launch the careers of such prominent scholars as Princeton presidents emeritus Robert Goheen ’40 *48 and William Bowen *58, as well as current faculty leaders like Sandra Bermann, the Cotsen Professor of the Humanities and former chair of the Department of Comparative Literature, and Harvey Rosen, the John L. Weinberg Professor of Economics and Business Policy. Preceptorships also have been instrumental in building some of the University's most distinguished departments. More than half of the tenured professors in English held preceptorships, as did one-third of the history faculty.
Princeton’s landmark financial aid program covers 100 percent of need, without requiring loans, so no student has to forgo a Princeton education for economic reasons. This policy, combined with need-blind admission, has allowed the University to welcome the finest young scholars from across the country and around the world, and enable them to graduate debt-free.
The promise that any student who is admitted can attend Princeton requires significant investment: more than $117 million in 2012, or approximately 13 percent of the University’s annual operating budget. Sixty percent of undergraduates receive financial aid, compared with 38 percent in the Class of 2001, the last class to enroll before the no-loan policy was established.
The University is committed to also providing “equity of experience” for students on financial aid, making sure that they have the support that will allow them to enjoy the full advantages of a Princeton education, including participating in extracurricular activities, accepting an unpaid internship, or studying abroad.
Princeton is committed to sustaining and expanding support for outstanding graduate students who go on to make intellectual discoveries, teach new generations of undergraduate and graduate students, and shape their professions.
The University offers advanced degree programs in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. In all disciplines, doctoral studies emphasize original and independent scholarship; master’s degree programs prepare students for careers in public service and professional practice. Graduate students study with the same renowned teacher-scholars who teach and mentor undergraduates, and they contribute to the research conducted by these distinguished professors.
In order to reach their full potential, graduate students must be able to focus on their studies full-time. Princeton is committed to providing the financial support they need in the form of full fellowships to graduate students in the humanities and social sciences for five years; students in science and engineering receive one-year fellowships while they complete basic coursework and choose a direction for their research. After that first year, these students depend on government, corporate, or foundation grants to support their work.